Beijing Payback

Beijing Payback

Victor Li is devastated by his father’s murder, and shocked by a confessional letter he finds among his father’s things. In it, his father admits that he was never just a restaurateur—in fact he was part of a vast international crime syndicate that formed during China’s leanest communist years.Victor travels to Beijing, where he navigates his father’s secret criminal life,...

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Title:Beijing Payback
Author:Daniel Nieh
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Beijing Payback Reviews

  • Veronica

    If you like the Joe Ide books, I highly recommend this book. It's not Sherlock Holmes, but Nieh's writing draws you in from the beginning.

  • Tessah

    Fantastic read. It has everything you want in a thriller -- great action, humor, memorable characters, plus nuggets of wisdom about being a human in the 21st century.

  • Kathleen Gray

    Imagine you're a college student and your father Li is murdered. Horrible, right? Well, then imagine that you discover that he was just running a restaurant, he was running a crime organization that started in China years ago and continues today. That's what Victor, and his sister Jules are faced with. Victor has never taken things too seriously but he has good friends in Andre and Eli. Can he or should he trust Sun, who turns up and claims to have been his protege and to have access to the peop

    Imagine you're a college student and your father Li is murdered. Horrible, right? Well, then imagine that you discover that he was just running a restaurant, he was running a crime organization that started in China years ago and continues today. That's what Victor, and his sister Jules are faced with. Victor has never taken things too seriously but he has good friends in Andre and Eli. Can he or should he trust Sun, who turns up and claims to have been his protege and to have access to the people who killed him? Not many would get on a plane to Beijing and take on this mysterious organization but that's what Victor does. Some minor practicalities aside, this is a fast paced, well written debut that occasionally gets a little off track but is still highly readable. There's twists, turns, and lots of action. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Those who like gritty little guy against the bad guys tales should try this one.

  • Meredith Rankin

    I particularly liked the fun interplay between Victor, his long-time best buddy Andre, and their roommate Eli. They’re funny, quirky, and genuinely seem to care about each other, though in their college-boy phase of life, that looks more like back-slapping and fist-bumping than hugs and crying on each other’s shoulders. The interaction between Victor and his two roommates helps show Victor’s emotions of grief at his dad’s murder an

    I particularly liked the fun interplay between Victor, his long-time best buddy Andre, and their roommate Eli. They’re funny, quirky, and genuinely seem to care about each other, though in their college-boy phase of life, that looks more like back-slapping and fist-bumping than hugs and crying on each other’s shoulders. The interaction between Victor and his two roommates helps show Victor’s emotions of grief at his dad’s murder and his anger at the kid-glove treatment the rest of the world gives him.

    Jules, Victor’s sister, is a terrific character, too. She’s irritating, acid-tongued, and uptight, but she assesses situations better than Victor. She deeply loves her brother. Her character arc, while not deeply developed, is compelling and right for her character.

    There’s a lot of background information that we need as we read this book: old Li’s friendship and business dealings with the brotherhood, his character, etc. Not all of it can be conveyed in the present time because he’s dead when the novel opens. Nieh uses a lengthy letter from Li to his son to give us a picture of Li, his childhood (including really interesting information about the changes in Chinese culture after the revolution), his friendships with the others in the brotherhood, and how and why he had deceived his children. Nieh gives Li a writing voice of his own that is both revealing and entertaining and in sync with the other accounts of his personality. Even though all of it is backstory, it moves the story along.

    Obviously, I’m not going to spoil it for you! But after everything the characters have been through in both America and China, this resolution is satisfying. Well done.

    The middle section in Beijing slowed me down. Somehow, even with the characters running into life-threatening danger, I felt that the writing dragged its feet a bit. Victor’s thoughts center around his anger at his father for his double life, his grief, and his father’s instructions. His father’s last instructions have shattered his world but also opened it to a bigger one. It’s compelling for a while, but I got a bit tired of the repetition.

    There’s also a sex scene thrown in late in the novel. (Victor’s inability to hook up with the women he wants to hook up with has been a recurring motif in the book.) It doesn’t add much to the story.

  • karen

    i will be reviewing this for l.a. review of books. posted today!

    #!

  • Chris

    Beijing Payback finds Victor and his sister Jules mourning the murder of their father. In the following days, Victor is given a letter from his father that reveals he has been living a secret life. Not only is he running 4 restaurants, but he is also one of four founders of a crime syndicate in Beijing. Enter Sun, Old Li's protege since his childhood, who takes him on a mission to avenge his father's death and expose the syndicate, who his father says in the letter, killed him.

    This was a very f

    Beijing Payback finds Victor and his sister Jules mourning the murder of their father. In the following days, Victor is given a letter from his father that reveals he has been living a secret life. Not only is he running 4 restaurants, but he is also one of four founders of a crime syndicate in Beijing. Enter Sun, Old Li's protege since his childhood, who takes him on a mission to avenge his father's death and expose the syndicate, who his father says in the letter, killed him.

    This was a very fast paced read with plenty of action. I enjoyed how the characters interact with each other, the detail of the settings, and little bits of humor thrown in by the author. The group of Victor, Jules, Eli, and Andre are well developed for their various roles, and you can tell that they truly love and care for each other. Sun was also well developed. The writing and insight into Chinese culture and the brief history we are given was well done. An excellent book, overall.

    My appreciation to NetGalley and HarperCollins for gifting me an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Beth

    The first thing that drew me to this book was that the main character is a college student. It is so hard to find books with college students! This was a solid mystery that gradually reveals a very complex family dynamic. This is a great book recommendation for high school seniors.

  • Audrey

    This was a disappointment. I loved the idea but it meandered a bit that I had a hard time focusing. It almost seemed like it was a kid’s dream version of vengeance for his father. Moreover, the women characters were so peripheral and weakly drawn. Actually, it pretty much only focused on Victor and he wasn’t an interesting enough character to carry the book.

    I received an arc from the publisher but all opinions are my own.

  • Gina Gray

    A Chinese -American college student takes on a Beijing organized crime ring to avenge his father's murder. This was a lot of fun. It didn't shy away from some "big ideas" relating to loyalty and identity, but never forgot what it was: a faced-paced and entertaining thrill ride. Some of the characters (especially of the female variety) felt a bit flat and the lone sex scene felt out of place- a teenage boy's wish fulfillment shoved into otherwise adult proceedings. But well worth a read, if for n

    A Chinese -American college student takes on a Beijing organized crime ring to avenge his father's murder. This was a lot of fun. It didn't shy away from some "big ideas" relating to loyalty and identity, but never forgot what it was: a faced-paced and entertaining thrill ride. Some of the characters (especially of the female variety) felt a bit flat and the lone sex scene felt out of place- a teenage boy's wish fulfillment shoved into otherwise adult proceedings. But well worth a read, if for no other reason than to enjoy the verbal stylings of the main character's hilarious, hyper-articulate sister.

    I was provided a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kelly

    Danny is an old friend of mine and I'm so excited that his book is being published!

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